Thursday, July 21, 2011

Revelations of a hard-head

Thick headed, hard-headed, whatever. That's me. I've been on the DL for going on FOUR WEEKS now and I'm STILL re-running Saturday, June 25th through my head, over and over. Still analyzing my training. Still remembering how I felt in the weeks leading up to the Seattle RNR Marathon to figure out,


And then today happened. I am FINALLY seeing this as a learning experience. How can I come out of this stronger than before, even if it means a temporary loss of fitness?

Instead of hitting the pool, I decided to do what Dr. PT recommended and what I've been hearing about repeatedly from the MTA, Ben Greenfield, Furman Institute guys, and others via podcasts, blogs, and books.


Pre-baby, I lifted weights several times a week. For YEARS I've done this. Not a lot, but enough to stay strong and fit. Post-baby...NADA.

To answer an earlier question, NO, doing a Jillian Michaels workout is NOT the same as lifting weights. That's not bad, though. I think that given limited time and access to a gym, doing Jillian's "No More Trouble Zones" is a fantastic way to work on the core and major muscles groups. No doubt.

BUT, getting back into the weight room today reminded me how much I NEED that time pumping the iron. I'm going to be OH SO sore tomorrow but this is good. I've been so singularly focused on retaining my aerobic fitness because, well, I worked my ASS off for the past SIX months to get in incredible running shape and of course, I didn't want to lose it.

While lifting today, though, I realized that it's o.k. to let some of that go and in exchange, spend more time working on strength. This was a critical component of training that I was missing out on and I see now how this can play a role in injury prevention.

SHAKE UP: While doing single leg hamstring curls, I found that my right leg is about 30% STRONGER than my left (injured) leg. I was completely shocked when I switched from my right to left ham and found such a drastic difference in strength. Why would that be? Surely, this is not good and could have been one of the factors contributing to my left leg injury.

I spent a good hour working on different muscles while also working in my PT exercises. I think with a bit more experimentation, I can get a decent routine put together that will cover the basics in 30 minutes.

As y'all know, especially moms with limited child care, there is only so much you can fit into 24 hrs. So, spending time lifting weights means I have to sacrifice something else: cardio training. Before today, I did not want to sacrifice that for anything but now, I think I can work it out where I can fit some cycling in with the weights.

So beginning next week I'm going to step away from getting full cardio in each day. Instead...

Mon/Wed: 30 minutes on stationary bike + 30 minutes weight training
Tues/Thurs: Swim + DVD at home in evening, as time/energy permit
Fri: DVD and/or core/band/ball/weight workout at home, as possible


  1. I think you are on to something with the strength training. I cut out my arm weight DVDs this training cycle and am regretting it.
    Thanks for the reminder about how important weight lifting is!

  2. Good luck darlin..I had a similar thing happen to me. I was FIT my senior year of college...2 weeks into practice tore my irked me but I took the time to make my arms, back and other muscles stronger. You will be GREAT

  3. My best running season is one in which I also lifted weights and did core.

  4. Alright...I'll get back to it too :)
    You are going to be so strong!!

  5. Good for you, Alma! You're going to be even more fierce than before!

    I need to do some strength training too. I keep putting it off because the trainer at the gym is creepy and I don't want him to "help" me.

  6. What a neat discovery about your legs and good for you for getting back to strength. I must be the odd duck in that I like strength and running equally. I am suffering now with all this running 5-6 days a week. I feel myself getting less strong and I hate it.

  7. Hi Alma!

    First off - love your blog. It's encouraging to know there are other "active" women out there! Second - have you run across a product called Ring Wrapper? I'm recently engaged and hate taking off my new ring (plus when I'm running/biking/swimming/at the gym I usually run into friends and need to show it off). I've seen this product popping up on the web when I do a search, and I'm wondering if you have used it, and whether or not it's legitimate.



  8. I lift weights two times per week without fail. I think it's critical to become a better runner. Gotta keep the upper body strong since it plays a part in the running motion. Not to mention, it's just the right thing to do for your body.

    p.s. love the Blog head.

    Finally, on the "DL" - I'm impressed with your baseball analogy.

  9. Ah, Alma. I'm sorry you are still on the DL. Your training sounded so thorough I have no idea what went wrong.

    I enjoyed Racing Weight to answer your question. I got my BF tested at WSU by a strength coach with computerized calipers and was at 16%. I hope to be leaner at the end of summer! ;)

    Keep up your cross training!!!